In his post, “7 Reasons America Has Not Been Reached for Christ,” I believe Greg Stier has some very important things for the church to hear and fix. In every point he is right about our neglect. I would simply add one more that might be a bit more conceptual but crucial nonetheless – We don’t know the Gospel anymore.
Stier mentions that we are ashamed of the Gospel and that church leaders are no longer leading the cause of spreading the good news, and he is right. In addition I believe a growing number of Christians (possibly an alarmingly large percentage of them?) no longer truly believe Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. In other words it is quite possible that American Christians have lost their urgency to proclaim the Gospel because they no longer think it is necessary to do so. They have become soft religious relativists.
I taught ethics on the college level for both a community college (younger students), and at a university adult education extension and I found both demographics struggled with making arguments for the rightness or wrongness of ethical points of view, not to mention the inherent exclusivity of truth itself. And as a pastor for going on 20 years now, I’m not so sure I can label “them” as the only relativists out there.
A Christian does not know the Gospel when they do not believe it is the only message of good news and reconciliation between the Creator and his creation. A believer does not have a solid intellectual grasp on their faith if they are willing to believe that other religions are basically the same, and in so doing, neglect the urgent task of being ambassadors for Christ.
In addition to his 7 Reasons, could it also be the case that American Christians are simply losing their grasp on several of the essential tenants of the faith?